You've probably had sugar cookies many times before -- in fact, you've probably had a lot of really mediocre sugar cookies, since for some reason they turn up like mushrooms after a rain in elementary-school classrooms anytime there's a celebration. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against a well-made sugar cookie, but you have to admit that even at their best, they are not exactly a thrilling cookie.
These brown sugar cookies, on the other hand, will make your pulse race a little when you get a whiff of their warm, sensual aroma -- the deep caramel notes, the undertones of molasses, all infused with a gentle touch of vanilla. In an earlier age, daring explorers built fortunes satisfying European lust for these scents and tastes. This is, in short, a very sexy cookie.
Better yet, it's a very easy cookie to make. The butter is melted and browned, and then the ingredients are more or less simply stirred together. There's no need to go through the "chill, roll, and cut" rigamarole, as with a typical sugar cookie -- you simply roll each ball of dough in a little sugar mixture to get a crispy sweet crust, and bake.
These have become, by a wide margin, my new favorite cookie. They perfectly fill the niche in my soul which now and then calls me to putter around the kitchen, baking a sweet little something. Give them a try, and I'm sure you too will fall under the spell of their copious charms. You can find the recipe here. Enjoy!